We are currently following the Virginia Department of Health guidelines for vaccine distribution. We have a large number of patients in each category defined by VDH. Our Care Centers are working through patient rosters and wait lists that patients have signed up indicating they want the vaccine. We then schedule patients as the vaccine supplies become available.
Due to the strict parameters of the vaccine storage/handling and variance in number of doses available per vial, if patients don’t show up for their vaccine or if we draw an “extra” dose from a vial, we must administer missed/”extra” doses in a time-sensitive manner. We do our best to designate these vaccines based on our patient rosters and waitlists, but we may administer the missed and/or “extra” vaccines to patients who are physically in our offices for other reasons to ensure we don’t waste any doses. We needed to use a system to ensure we were not missing anyone or duplicating efforts, so we initially chose to go down our senior patient roster alphabetically. Why, because we view all persons 65 and over to be high risk. To the best of our ability, we tried to go alphabetically so the teams could divide and conquer scheduling as we only had a short window to coordinate these clinics.
As each site is trained on administering vaccines, we are utilizing our patient waitlists to coordinate in-office clinics. Our ultimate goal is, and has been, doing our very best to vaccinate as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible while remaining compliant and coordinating them in a way to where our teams can best manage who has received the vaccine and who still needs to so we can remain efficient in this process.
This is a difficult situation and we are trying our best to navigate vaccine distribution. With over 26,000 seniors, we would say they all are critical and our efforts were to focus on them first, but the governor’s office has indicated we now also look at essential workers.
While we have been primarily focused on our senior population, receiving supplies of only 300-500 doses per week and needing to ensure administration of both first and second doses, we are finding this process is going to take quite some time – without the addition of essential workers.
At the direction of the governor’s office, though, we will soon begin taking half of our supply and allocating it to essential workers, which will continue to extend the timelines for vaccinating our senior patients. The addition of essential workers to our protocol is expected to begin next week.
We appreciate your patience during this challenging time and will continue to do our best to ensure we are administering vaccines as quickly as we receive them. Please continue to call our hotline # and/or access our website and social media pages for the most-up-to-date information.